Sunday, October 29, 2006

My Sophia at 24 months


Sophia is now two years old and she is taking over the house. She is talking very much, but she can listen more words that what she speaks, too.

I just can't image what I would do if I did not get the cochlear implants at this time. I would have a very hard time doing that with hearing aids and more. And my voice quality with my hearing aids at that time was not clear so Sophia would have hard time understanding me!!! With my cochlear implants, my hearing is so good I can understand every word except for Spanish words, which she picked up from her mother. And my speech is very good and I can teach her new words with clarity and correct punucation that she can follow from me.

Sometime Sophia would say a word, three words at a time, or in a complete sentence. She is absorbing all the words into her mind, and she says it later. When we watch an animal cartoon show, she would say 'elephant', 'lion', 'hippo', and more. If she does not know a word for an animal, she would point at it and goes, "hmmm?? " and I help her out.

For Sophia, our main emphasis is the 'language development', is very important at this time of her life and I am so glad to be doing that for her!!


Friday, August 25, 2006

Iraqi girl gets cochlear implant

Read an article of a Iraqi girl who received the cochlear implant in USA!

Monday, August 21, 2006


IMG_5754, originally uploaded by texdanny1.


This is Sophia showing off her new Dora outfit that her mother made personally for her. She loves Dora and checks anything that has Dora!!!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

I'm back!

Hello fellow blog readers!!!

I am back, and I did not forget to post - there is no time for me to sit down and collect the thoughts for me to write on. I've been busy at AT&T and also at home with my 22 month old daughter who demands me very much.

My daughter Sophia is talking and starting to add two or three words together, and I am enjoying listening to her. I am grateful to have bilateral cochlear implants, since there are so many sounds in her voices, there is no way I can hear it with my hearing aids. That is whole reason why I had the cochlear implants.

I think it's important to have a good hearing, and one reason as being a parent raising the children. The language development is very important during the first three years of child's life. That's when the child's brain starts to form the language development in order to speak and listen. Most people do not realize what it takes to understand what was heard and how to say it, and it does not come out naturally, either. It is the encouragement and understanding the world around them makes the difference to become a good communicator.

Have a great day!


Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Download this information to your ear....

I just learned something for fun today:

The most remarkable feature of AB's Hi-Res processor is that it processes the incoming sounds at a rate of 90,000 times a second. In turn, its processor and implant chips does the math to pass the sound information in my cochea - at a rate of 83,000 times a second, in form of electrical simulation or "pulses"!!

So I did my math to figure out how much I "downloaded" the pulses in terms of "byte" as a digital file size, to my brain:

One Implant:
1 second: 83,000 pulses
1 minute of hearing:4,980,000 pulses
1 hour of hearing: 298,800,000 pulses
1 day of hearing: 7,171,200,000 pulses (similar to 7.1 GB of file size, about size of a DVD )
1 Week of hearing: 50,198,400,000
1 Month of hearing: 200,793,600,000
1 Year of hearing:: 2,619,280,800,000 (2.6 Terabytes of information about 366 DVD's in all!!)

Two Implants:
In 1 second: 166,000 pulses
1 minute of hearing: 9,960,000
1 hour of hearing: 597,600,000
1 day of hearing: 14,342,400,000, ( about 2 dvd's of information a day)
1 week of hearing: 100,396,800,000
1 Month of hearing: 401,587,200,000
1 Year of hearing: 5,238,561,600,000 (5.2 terabytes of information, about 732 DVD's worth!)

That is a lot of information to download.... it will take more than a few month for me to download a terabyte worth of information on my PC. Good news, I don't wear the implants when I go to sleep... thank god!!!



FYI: in computer parlance, a byte has 8 bits of information to resemble a character that you type. Also for DSL or Cable Modem, the rate of download is in "bits", not bytes!!! (lower case b stands for bit, capital letter B stands for byte) In reality, a pulse should be one bit of information, but I substituted the "bits" with "byte" for conceptual purposes like the size of a digital file instead of download speed.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Meet Timo

Meet Timo -

Timo is a computer generated talking face program designed for autistic, deaf, and other language-challenged children, Animated Speech Corporation produces software that increases the rate of learning—and retaining—speech and language skills. Backed by 15 years of university research, tested and refined in pilot school programs, and designed to accommodate individual needs, our products provide learning environments that children want to return to again and again.

This is an excellent program for young kids learning the vocabulary, reading, and learning comprehesion. I really enjoyed taking a spin with Timo, and I think it is great for kids to have an interactive computer to learn along. They have a demo program available for downloading - and I hope you can give it a try!!!

Have a great day!!


Exciting News from Advanced Bionics

I just got this annoucement from Advanced Bionics:

HiRes 120

On the horizon with Advanced Bionics is an enhanced HiResolution strategy that enables 120 channels of information! This would be like being able to have access to all of the keys on a piano and not be limited to hearing a small subset of them. The 120 channels processing is designed for better music appreciation and hearing in noise. This is a huge leap in technology so its very exciting to be at the point with HiRes 120 where we can look beyond basic speech understanding and really work towards the best possible hearing in the most variety of listening situations. Here’s how it works. Since the AB HR90k (and the previous generation CII implant) has what we call “independent output circuits”, where each electrode has its own power source and control, we can stimulation two (or more) electrodes at a time. This is unique to Advanced Bionics implants. We also know that the normal ear processes pitch information according to precisely where on the hearing organ the stimulation is occurring, just like on a piano with the lower pitched notes on one end progressively moving to the higher pitched notes on the other end. To achieve 120 channels, we weight the stimulation on adjacent electrodes so that the current is steered (or guided) to a neural population that falls in between the actual electrode contacts. So we are no longer limited to providing pitch information only at the location where the electrode sits, and we can provide more precise pitch information to the user by steering it to specific locations in the cochlea. Now, with these “virtual” channels (avenues of pitch information that are created at places where there are no electrode contacts) that are created in the 120 strategy, we can provide pitch information via other neural areas to take better advantage of the person’s surviving neural populations. With more pitch information, there is the potential to hear better in noise and to better appreciate music as these are the most complex listening situations.

The 120 system runs on the current PSP body processor. It will require a new BTE processor which is also in development. The 120 strategy and new BTE processor have undergone in house trials and are currently in field trials out at specific clinics that have agreed to participate in the study. Since the process is subject to FDA review, the time of release is tentative, but we are anticipating it may be sometime later in the year, pending no unforeseeable delays. This strategy and BTE processor will be backwards compatible to all HiRes 90k users, and all CII users (those implanted since about April 2001). No surgery needed for these folks that are already using the CII and HR90k! A processor and software upgrade, and likely some adaptation time, is all that is needed! There is a processor trade in program available and anyone interested should speak to their cochlear implant center about this. For those that will be implanted in 2006, they will be able to trade in an unopened Auria processor (for those that get two processors, and the used one for those that get one processor) for the new processor free of charge as soon as the new processor is available! For details, people should check with the clinic.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Smiling Big (no more feedback)

As I was growing up with hearing aids, I am often the "feedback" guy. When I smile big, I make a feedback from the hearing aids. The sound of the feedback is a shrilling whistle noise.

This happens when my hearing makes "a looping feed back to hearing aid" - when its microphone picks up the its output of amplified sound, it makes continous loop of sounds and increasing up to its limits in loudness and frequency (the loudest sounds, with highest frequency, the shrilling noise). When I put earmolds in my ear, the feedback stops unless it "leaks" or exposed and the feedback begins all over again. The ear changes its shape when my jawbone and facial muscles moves, and it opens up the feedback. And I can't hear the feedback myself, but all hearing people can! I have lots of embarassing moments, too.

So when I smile, I used to make a half-smile and nodd my head to express my "big smile". After I had the implant, I turned the hearing aid on and I heard the feedback for the first time ever. It is really annoying!!!

Now that I have cochlear implants, the feedback is impossible - the output is in electronic form instead of ampfied sounds. Lo and behold, no more feedback - and I am able to make the biggest smile as I can - and that made a big difference about myself! I'm very happy that I don't have to "suffer" the feedback moments anymore.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

What it takes to hear in noisy places...

Human ear is very remarkable device! The human ear, can hear voices that is quieter than the noises in the background by just 5 decibels!!! For the cochlear implants like Advanced Bionic's Hi-Res, can hear the voices at about 5 decibels louder than the noise. So that means if there is noisy around me during the conversation, I'll have to ask them to talk louder, because I can't even beat the human ear. It's a very polite thing to say, because the speaker wants to you to hear what he/she said.

For example, if I am listening to the music in the car, I'll have to turn music up a bit more so I can hear it beside the turbulence, tires, vibrations, a/c, engine and transmission, etc... as I go on. If I am in an airliner flying at 30,000 feet, I would prefer to hook my implants to XMRadio player. I even can turn my implants off and enjoy a nice, quiet ride. If I am at a rock concert, forget hearing it, but do wear the ear plugs, even though you have implant, but you don't want to rupture the ear drum and its middle ear parts.

Here are the examples of noise levels:

Points of Reference
*measured in dBA or decibels
0 The softest sound a person can hear with normal hearing
10 normal breathing
20 whispering at 5 feet
30 soft whisper
50 rainfall
60 normal conversation
110 shouting in ear
120 thunder

50 refrigerator
50 - 60 electric toothbrush
50 - 75 washing machine
50 - 75 air conditioner
50 - 80 electric shaver
55 coffee percolator
55 - 70 dishwasher
60 sewing machine
60 - 85 vacuum cleaner
60 - 95 hair dryer
65 - 80 alarm clock
70 TV audio
70 - 80 coffee grinder
70 - 95 garbage disposal
75 - 85 flush toilet
80 pop-up toaster
80 doorbell
80 ringing telephone
80 whistling kettle
80 - 90 food mixer or processor
80 - 90 blender
80 - 95 garbage disposal
110 baby crying
110 squeaky toy held close to the ear
135 noisy squeeze toys


40 quiet office, library
50 large office
65 - 95 power lawn mower
80 manual machine, tools
85 handsaw
90 tractor
90 - 115 subway
95 electric drill
100 factory machinery
100 woodworking class
105 snow blower
110 power saw
110 leafblower
120 chain saw, hammer on nail
120 pneumatic drills, heavy machine
120 jet plane (at ramp)
120 ambulance siren
125 chain saw
130 jackhammer, power drill
130 air raid
130 percussion section at symphony
140 airplane taking off
150 jet engine taking off
150 artillery fire at 500 feet
180 rocket launching from pad


40 quiet residential area
70 freeway traffic
85 heavy traffic, noisy restaurant
90 truck, shouted conversation
95 - 110 motorcycle
100 snowmobile
100 school dance, boom box
110 disco
110 busy video arcade
110 symphony concert
110 car horn
110 -120 rock concert
112 personal cassette player on high
117 football game (stadium)
120 band concert
125 auto stereo (factory installed)
130 stock car races
143 bicycle horn
150 firecracker
156 capgun
157 balloon pop
162 fireworks (at 3 feet)
163 rifle
166 handgun
170 shotgun

What I learned from bilateral...

The biggest thing I learned from bi-lateral is that I can hear more than just one implant alone. Remember the right ear is for music, and left ear is for voices, and in the mind, the brain put these information from two ears together and create a great auditory perception of the hearing world around me. I just can't go on with one implant alone.